Local woman lives ‘Cabaret’ dream | PostIndependent.com

Local woman lives ‘Cabaret’ dream

Becky Levin
Becky Levin as Sally Bowles is among the featured cast of “Cabaret,” which is being performed by Colorado Mountain College’s Sopris Theatre Company at Spring Valley April 6-22. Photo Scot Gerdes

If you go


Friday-Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. At the Kit Kat Klub, the garish master of ceremonies assures the audience they will forget their troubles as they’re entertained by song and dance while the Third Reich looms outside. Sopris Theatre Company will perform the musical’s 1998 version, one of many revivals of the production – and the third-longest-running revival in Broadway musical history. This version has a darker tone than the previous ones, though with nearly 20 songs, it’s still all about storytelling through musical theater. The show continues April 13-14 and 19-21 at 7 p.m., and April 15 and 22 at 2 p.m.

New Space Theatre, Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley, 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs | $20; $15 seniors and CMC employees and students | 947-8177 | coloradomtn.edu/theatre

I never believed my dad when he said he had a movie he thought I would enjoy. But every time, he proved me wrong. I ended up loving them.

It started with “Singing in the Rain,” followed quickly by “My Fair Lady.” When I was 12, he introduced me to “Cabaret.”

You might notice a pattern in my father’s taste, and it certainly affected mine. More than the rest, “Cabaret” stuck with me. The film starred the incomparable Joel Grey and my long-time favorite Liza Minnelli. Minnelli opened my heart to a new world of leading ladies, thanks to her role as the effervescent Kit Kat Klub performer Sally Bowles. Minnelli’s Sally was complex. She showed me a leading lady who was lost but strong, with an unshakable yet irrational confidence. She was a complete facade with rare moments that showed her vulnerability and humanity.

Most importantly, she was an alto. I knew then I had to play her.

I heard more than a year ago that Sopris Theatre Company would produce “Cabaret,” and I knew then it was my chance to become Sally. It’s exciting, as an actor, to find the depth in a character that goes beyond the page to make him or her human. Sally is a misconstrued soul lost in the underground party scene of Berlin at the dawn of the 1930s. Despite the separation of almost a century, her infatuation with stardom, despite her truly mediocre talents, resonates in an era that counts fame in increments of “likes” and “follows.” Sally dedicates her life to the Kit Kat Klub, and you can see this mirrored in the behavior of many performers. This blind devotion is something her love interest, the hapless American Cliff Bradshaw (played by Brendan Cochran in this production), cannot understand.

Sacrifices come with performance — sacrifices that can be difficult to understand from the outside looking in. Even for someone who treats theater as a passing hobby alongside work, relationships and trying to enjoy their early 20s, there are immense sacrifices that need to be made. Sally is strong enough to make them.

The show becomes more important than any job, any relationship and (in my experience) sleep.

But you do it. You do it because you know that the people you’re doing it with are making sacrifices to be there, too. You create a family, almost instantaneously. The cast and crew choose to dream one dream together, and for some — like Sally — that’s enough to make you dedicate your life to it.

I can’t say I blame her. It is impossible to put into words what I felt when I heard I was cast. I imagine Sally Bowles would celebrate with gin. I didn’t want to let her down, so I did the same.

We are often told that we must follow our dreams. We are encouraged from a young age to make grand leaps of faith and to step out of our comfort zones. We don’t see until we are older that there are costs to those desires. “Cabaret” will show you the extremes of what it can cost to stand out, be yourself and take the stage.

Becky Levin will play Sally Bowles in Sopris Theatre Company’s production of “Cabaret.” She is also a local sales and marketing professional.

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